The Symphonic Juncture

A [Symphonist]: "The one who is not afraid to raise the primal force."

- Boris Asafiev (1917)

Analysis of Husky's: Бит Шатает голову / Beat shakes the head [Favorite Songs of Imaginary People]

Husky's 2017 album epitomizes why exactly he is beloved by fans all across the Russian territories and by many in large parts of the world. Not only does he share his intimate thoughts about himself, his image, career, and experiences, but he encapsulates within his lyrical verses the struggle of the average person to find some meaning from among the muck of reality. As a listener, I become much more involved in the contextual meaning of the words when they pertain to a reality in which I have shared or do share, Lil Darkie, a prime example of this pictorial nature. Within his albums and songs, he utilizes his own culture and musical experiences to craft what one could call an 'auditory biography': The stripped depiction of the artist, neither covered by baseless self-aggrandizement nor empty representations of familiar hip-hop 'norms.' This quality of producing biographical auditory poetry is what initially drew me to Husky. He, Dmitry Kuznetsov, the real person behind the title, chooses to present himself as himself, his lyrics and music highlighting the painful and seductive world of Russian life, drug use, and all. As a Westerner who has lived in America my whole life, other than being adopted from Kaliningrad, I can only relate to the meaning of Husky's text from an outside perspective. However, because of Husky's brilliance, the poignancy of his texts are relevant no matter where you are, what societal position you find yourself involved in, or governmental system your country or territory operates by.


This last part is particularly important when observing the album, "Favorite Songs for Imaginary People." The title itself indicates that this album's premise is not rooted in reality, nor is it highlighting some earthly picture. The 'imaginary' aspects actively contradict the entire album's content, mainly situated between two modes: situational storytelling and biographical reality. The 'imaginary people' phenomenon exerts its presence within Songs #3, 11, 12, and 13. In Song 3, Husky depicts a factious person's miserable existence in the confines of a 'paneled' world, an allusion to a comic strip and its borders. Song 11 is an oddity in this album, although the reality of the imagined circumstances correlates well into the theme. A dog, the main character, is infatuated with his owner, a woman called 'the mistress' who, through the lines "where are your odors stick to the hands of fools," we come to find out is seeing a man. This revelation is the premise of the song, highlighting the dog's unshakable fidelity towards this woman who understands the dog's love as less than. In Song 12, another factious scenario is set-up, but it resembles reality to an eerie extent. The title of this song, "Детка-Голливуд' / Baby Hollywood, tells the story a young girl who has come to Hollywood to make her name; a tale told innumerable by many others. Husky doesn't tell us her fate, but one can imagine where and how she ends up, judging by the overall sentiment of the wording and aesthetic. The last song in the album, "Мультики," / Cartoons, might be the most brazen example of the purpose of this entire album. Husky battles between the career that he has and the dreaded feeling of escaping from reality, from this human-made 'cartoon' life. Through alcohol and drug use, he can put on a blindfold, which temporarily, 'until tomorrow,' draws him away from the destitute poverty of Russia and the routine unhappiness of useless work. The song I find most captivating, not only because of its driving beat and memorable chorus but because of the tangibility of its subject matter, is Song #2, "Бит шатает голову" / Beat shakes the head. The overall aesthetic of this song is raw, unfiltered Husky. The 'electronicism' that plagues much of Russian rap is not there, but what is presented is so much better.


Musically featured are two components: a treble, 'radio like' melody, and a driving, bass emphasized beat. These two aspects don't change within the 4-minute song's confines, but the way that Husky creates form is by changing the meter in which his verses operate, most notably during the